Cork Flooring Vs. Laminate Flooring
Picking out a new floor can be an exciting, yet difficult experience. To choose the right floor you must consider how long you want it to last, what you want it to look like and what room in which to put it. Cork and laminate flooring represent a couple of the options you may want to consider. Both offer advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs.
Laminate floors offer more durability than their cork counterparts, as they are not as easily damaged by external factors. Cork floors can be damaged by impact and heavy standing objects. Both floors are fine with moisture, though cork flooring can be damaged by exposure to excessive sunlight. Neither type of floor can be stained. Laminate floors can be scratched, but their top layer usually prevents it from happening.
Cork varies in appearance depending on its natural source, though it always has the same general look. Laminate floors can be designed to look like wood, stone or tile, so there is a larger potential for versatility. Both laminate and cork floors allow for different design patterns. Cork floors are warmer and softer than laminate. Laminate floors are also louder and sometimes sound slightly hollow.
Installation and Environmental Factors
Both cork and laminate floors are available in easy to install varieties. If they come in planks or have adhesive on the back of each tile, you can install them yourself provided you are handy with do-it-yourself projects. Self-installation will save you money and the hassle of waiting for professionals to schedule an installation time. Since cork is sustainable and laminate is made synthetically, both are quality choices for those wanting to protect the environment.
Laminate and cork floors both fall into a similar price range. Cork floors are usually around $4 per tile or plank, while laminate floors range from $1 to $7 per square foot, as of February 2011. The type of sealant and installation methods available may cause variation to the price. Both floors add value to a home when compared to vinyl tile. Laminate floors can last as long as 30 years, while cork floors typically do not last longer than 20 years.